Czech Hop Culture

There is a really good series of articles over at Hop Culture about Czech beer and brewing.  This link sends you to an article about tapsters but there is a really cool fresh hop Budvar piece and a piece about the Kazbek hop too.

Best Label?

Hop Culture, the allied beer writing arm of Untappd, came out with their best beer labels of 2023, which you can check out right HERE.

With a few exceptions, I was not in agreement with picks because there was a certain gothic swirly tattoo darkness to a lot of labels plus Humble Sea whose labels for sure stand out but are not for me.

But enough of my side eye, I want to point out that two of my favorites from SoCal were on the list. Brouwerij West and Everywhere Beer Co. A tip of the hat to them.

A Variety of Pride

It seems like the beer world is challenging my now shakier stance against variety packs.  I skew more towards single sku’s.  But Sierra Nevada, Firestone Walker amongst others have me shifting.  And that shift is even more evident in this cool box from Hop Culture / Untappd / Halftime that features a Prideful group of beers.  Check out the list HERE.

Hop Culture Best New Brewery of 2022 # 3 – Fox Tale Fermentation

Our final stop for January is in San Jose, California at Fox Tale Fermentation. And boy do they have some fun ingredients in their beers.

Time to pick some projects for the taster tray…

Plant Cultura – Oaxacan Green Corn Lager

Magic Monday – Farmhouse Ale with fresh pressed Asian Pear Juice.

Fung Shui – Farmhouse Ale with Candy Cap Mushrooms

Legend of Pandan – Tiki Inspired Golden Ale with Macadamia, Coconut and Pandan.

Hop Culture Best New Brewery of 2022 # 2 – Bizarre Brewing

Next up from my reading of Hop Culture’s Best of 2022 list is Bizarre Brewing in Seattle, Washington. Such an interesting line-up of beers with spelt and oats everywhere.

The Sun Myth Unfiltered Czech-Style Pilsner – “The Sun Myth is our little Czech-style pilsner. Mashed with pilsner and chit malt, The Sun Myth was then hopped in the kettle with a blend of Saaz and Hallertau Mittelfrüh hops. This little nod to Winter was then fermented cold and allowed to naturally carbonate itself. Once carbonated, The Sun Myth went through a long cold lagering phase making it extra crisp.”

Dinkel Hell Bavarian-Style Spelt Ale – “Dinkel Hell is our spin on the weisse hell biers of Bavaria. Our take started with pale pilsner malt and a large portion of flaked wheat. We then added a generous amount of spelt malt. Hopped lightly with German Saphir, this pale spelt ale was then fermented very cold with our favorite hefeweizen yeast strain for a nice long maturation.”

Teenage Jesus Oat Bitter – “Teenage Jesus is our riff on an English ordinary bitter. Mashed with a base of pale English malt, flaked barley, caramunich and a portion of caramelized oat malt, we then hop this little bitter with East Kent Goldings, Challenger and Comet hops. Once Teenage Jesus has cooled down we pitch our favorite English ale strain and allow it to ferment before spunding to naturally carbonate.”

Steam Noir Dark Lager – “Steam Noir is our riff on a traditional steam beer. We took the same steam concept of fermenting a lager at warmer temperatures and applied it to a dark lager. This version was brewed with pilsner, Maris Otter, chocolate, caramel and spelt malts. It was then hopped with Styrian Gold, Cascade and Tettnanger. Steam Noir was put into a blend of port and red wine barrels cold, then allowed to naturally warm until it was finished fermenting. Once finished, Steam Noir was lagered in barrels cold for an additional four weeks.”

Hop Culture Best New Brewery of 2022 # 1 – Mahalo Aleworks

Hop Culture did a round-up of best breweries in 2022 and it was a wide ranging list. This month, I will highlight three with the first being Mahalo Aleworks. This Maui brewery has a super cool train station style arrivals graphic for their beers, so let’s take a peek…

You can start with a traditional English Brown Ale or a Vienna Lagale. If you are in the mood for Belgian, they have a dry hop Saison or the more traditional Farmhouse Saison. Sours are their as well, Mango and Tropical last time I checked. Then to finish you can head for their Rum Barrel Aged Imperial Stout.